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Glee, and Sons of Anarchy

To sum up...

I thought the Glee premiere was only OK.

I think this season of Sons of Anarchy is off to a tough and rocky start

But, for more details, see below the cut

The Glee premiere was such a mixed bag.  The main theme seemed to be establishing, once again, that the Glee club is at the bottom of the barrel.  I'm not sure how I feel about that, because honestly, it gets a little repetitive to keep banging that drum over and over and over again (not to mention that I'm still not sure when being a Glee club member became cause for being a high school pariah).

What worked:

Much of Sue's dialogue
Brittney's one-liners
Finn auditioning for the Cheerios (funniest part of the episode for me)
Kurt and Mercedes' non-verbals
Quinn and Santana's smackdown
The "auditions" for new cast members Chord Overstreet (?) and Charice
Tina asserting herself with Artie
Hints that Puck isn't over Quinn (I 'ship them)
The Rachel/Sunshine sing-off, perfectly brought to a close by Sue
Will calling off the vendetta against the new coach

What was OK/very borderline:

Coach Beiste.  Though I think the character is interesting, I'm not quite sure the show knows what they want her to be.  She started off belittling of the Glee club, talking in the 3rd person, and throwing insults back at Sue.  Then she became mushy and sad to be an outsider.  Huh?

Finn really thought Artie could try out for football?  Really?

Quinn wanting to be a cheerio again.  Didn't she grow out of that last season?

Santana got a boob job.  If a characters gets a boob job, and a big deal is made of it on the show, shouldn't it be something noticeable?

The NY State of Mind number.  Why wasn't that better?

What did not work at all:

Rachel!  Good God.  I know she's always been driven, controlling and self-absorbed.  And she can be malicious (outing Quinn to Finn), but she's really never been so flat out mean as she was in this episode.  And not only mean, but offensive, and racist.  What the hell was that?

The last musical number.  It felt totally random.  As though someone felt like they needed to shove a Lea Michele solo into the episode, so we got this big number, with a song that felt only related to the situation in a tentative way.  Completely unnecessary, and not a completely inspiring version of the song.  Lea Michele has an amazing voice, but she has a tendency to sing "show tunes" all the same way.

So, overall, a big thumbs sideways, as this show doesn't seem to have learned from some of last seasons mistakes, but still boosts a very appealing supporting cast, and fun musical numbers.  And Jane Lynch is still great.

Now, onto Sons of Anarchy

Boy, this season just isn't quite clicking for me.  I think my biggest problem is the Gemma storyline.  For one thing, Hal Holbrook seems sort of misused here.  His screentime, and interactions with Gemma, are pretty minimal.  But my bigger problem is that I just find the whole thing boring.  And its only been made worse by the inclusion of Tara (more of that character later). 

I did get a huge kick out of Stephen King showing up last night though.

The other part of the show that isn't quite working for me is the Ireland stuff.  I'm just not sure why we should be caring about this.  I know its building towards something, but its a little slow getting there.

Now, what does still work for me is Jax.  I like that we see Jax a bit more violent, a bit more on edge, but at the same time, he is still a character that I have no trouble relating to.  I think the show has done a good job of balancing out his panic over Abel, his worry for his mother, his confusion over his relationship with Tara, and his bond to the club.

And speaking of bonding, any scene where Jax and Opie talk is a home run for me.  I love their friendship, and the easy and believable camaraderie between Charlie Hunnam and Ryan Hurst.  They are good buds in real life, and it shows.

Frankly, Opie going ape shit over Lyla was a fun scene for me.  I especially liked that the club understood, and supported Opie's freakout.  I find myself very invested in where the relationship between Opie and Lyla goes.

Now, back to Tara.  I've never really been a fan of the character.  But I used to think I understood her POV.  Now, I don't know who this character is anymore.  What does she believe in?  Its as if her entire moral code has been chucked out the window, and I think the character seems rudderless, and just plain irritating.  I also just do not believe in this buddy/buddy relationship between her and Gemma.  I think I liked it much more when the characters were adverserial, because it felt very true to the core of these 2 women.  Now, Tara is just Gemma-lite.

No new TV for me tonight.  I'm off to a Tim Gunn booksigning.  Make it Work!


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 22nd, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC)
Santana got a boob job. If a characters gets a boob job, and a big deal is made of it on the show, shouldn't it be something noticeable?
Exactly! I kept staring at them and wondering if she had been concave before for that to qualify as a breast enlargement. It's either that or she was strapping them down so Sue wouldn't notice.
Sep. 22nd, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
The way Sue went on and on over it, you'd think she was Heidi Montag. I didn't even notice them, which made that whole plotline fall pretty flat (no pun intended).
Sep. 22nd, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
Coach Beiste. Though I think the character is interesting, I'm not quite sure the show knows what they want her to be. She started off belittling of the Glee club, talking in the 3rd person, and throwing insults back at Sue. Then she became mushy and sad to be an outsider. Huh?

Agreed. I liked her quite a bit, but she was definitely kind of all over the place. I hope they figure out what they want with her character and stick to it. (Ha, I'm hoping for consistency on this show? I must be CRAZY!)
Sep. 22nd, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC)
I think she's got tons of potential as a character, and a comic foil for Sue. But in this ep, I just don't think they had yet decided just what she was all about.
Sep. 22nd, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
Brittney's one-liners

She's my favorite on the show. She's so off-kilter.

Quinn and Santana's smackdown

The one time on that show where I could actually believe the conflict. That took me back to high school. That was a serious battle.

Finn really thought Artie could try out for football? Really?

This is why I think Finn took too many blows to the head or didn't get enough oxygen in the womb. Launch him at the players? Are you going to get him an electric wheelchair that can move swiftly over grass? And the fact that Artie got so butt hurt over being told no was too over-the-top for me because I didn't think Artie was as unrealistic about what he can or cannot do.

Rachel! Good God. I know she's always been driven, controlling and self-absorbed. And she can be malicious (outing Quinn to Finn), but she's really never been so flat out mean as she was in this episode. And not only mean, but offensive, and racist. What the hell was that?

She was all too believable. Either she's an excellent actor or Lea Michele just knows how to tap into her self-absorbed witchy side.

Sep. 22nd, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
Quinn and Santana have always had a simmering rivalry, especially when you throw Puck into the equation. So, I thought the fight worked very well.

I know they are playing Finn as not bright, but sometimes they write him like an outright moron. I don't know what they were thinking with Artie. And why would he think that would impress Tina?

Lea Michele was very believable. Scary!
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 22nd, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
I also thought the way the dance scene was filmed for NYSoM number was not good. And is there a reason that Lea Michele has to be the only female dancing around in a short skirt when everyone else is in pants?

I don't even know how we could feel sorry for Rachel at the end, with that song, because going by the words, and looking at her actions, its about what she did for love of herself.

Edited at 2010-09-22 05:55 pm (UTC)
Sep. 22nd, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
Oh I think Britney's one liners stole the freakin show, and I totally agree about that last song, it is like Lea Michelle has something in her contract saying she must have a solo in every episode, blah.
Sep. 22nd, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
I totally think thats exactly why we got that last song. I can't think of any other good reason for it. I didn't even understand the choice of song.
Sep. 22nd, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC)
yeah, it did not jive with any other music in the episode, and didn't really make sense with the plot. A little disapointing. But I think Finn gets extra cute points for seeing Rachel as she is, being up front and honest with her, but still loving her. That is nice.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 22nd, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)
Well, see, thats another thing right there. We didn't even get to see Rachel make an apology to the club. How can we forgive her actions when the show doesn't even bother to show that?

The Cheerio audition was the highlight of the ep, I thought.

I am hoping that I'll be able to make it from work to the signing in time to get Tim to personalize a book for me, but I'm not too hopeful. But I should still be able to hear him speak about the book.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 22nd, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC)
Finn really thought Artie could try out for football? Really?

Quinn wanting to be a cheerio again. Didn't she grow out of that last season?

Thank you! Yes I completely agree with you on these two points. Puzzling and disappointing respectively.

I enjoyed the New York State of Mind number. I think it was awkward because they were supposed to not get through to the audience? I guess?

Someone on a forum suggested that Rachel feared for her value to the other Glee members. They all hate her and she's only accepted for her talent. If someone kind who could also sing well showed up... she would be on the outs. I liked that explanation better than her wanting to be the star. I think she wanted to belong with the other members somehow and with that girl around... she has no in. There would be nothing special about her. I hope they address this more as the season continues. I agree that it was VERY off putting.

The Gemma storyline is the only thing that interests me! LOL!

I did get a huge kick out of Stephen King showing up last night though.

WooHoo! That was fun. *dances*

I'm starting to get more interested in the find the baby plot now that the lady who works at the store is trying to contact Gemma. I'm so interested her. I feel that she's boxed in between the corrupt priest and her family. I may be reading it wrong though, because those Irish accents! I've got to turn on the closed captioning to understand them sometimes. LOL!

I'm off to a Tim Gunn booksigning. Make it Work!

*is jealous*
Sep. 23rd, 2010 02:13 am (UTC)
See, the problem I had with Rachel's actions were that they went beyond insecurity. Her yelling at the girl because she thought she didn't speak english (even though the girl clearly just removed her eyephones, and said she spoke english) was just ignorant and offensive. And that was before she knew how talented the girl was.

Also, notice that Rachel puts down these fellow Glee club members she says she loves so much. She talks down to Kurt, Mercedes, Tina and Mike. Pretty horribly, in fact. If she wants to badly to belong with them, wouldn't not insulting them to their faces be a good start?

So, although I salute the valiant effort to explain the writing for Rachel, I'm afraid that explanation doesn't really fly for me.

Tim Gunn was very cool, though the set-up and organization of the event was awful.
Sep. 23rd, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
I agree that the writing was bad... but I'm going to hope that her explanation was what they were going for.

I think the rudeness about the girl not speaking English and the backhanded insults at her fellow Glee members were just supposed to be same old Rachel. I don't think those things were connected to her insecurity about the girl. But those moments didn't play like Rachel's personality and they weren't funny. It was just offensive.

I appreciate her explanation more for the way Rachel was pleading with the Glee members. It was just an odd way for her to go about it if it was all about the spotlight. She was very... dewy as opposed to determined and aggressive the way she usually is in the face of a challenge. I dunno.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )



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